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Prosecutor: Couple's crimes related to cult

Posted June 30, 2008
Updated July 1, 2008

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— A Durham couple charged with kidnapping, rape and assault was involved with a satanic cult, a prosecutor said on Monday.

Joy Johnson and Joseph Craig appeared at a bond hearing Monday. A judge set Craig's bond at $590,000, but refused a prosecution request to increase Johnson's bond from $270,000 to $500,000.

Prosecutors said a man and a woman met Craig through a shared interest in Satan worship, but the pair never consented to physical abuse.

Craig shackled his victims to beds, kept them in dog cages and starved them inside his Albany Street home, prosecutors said. He was charged with beating the man with a cane and a cord and with raping the woman.

"This goes well above what they were interested in doing," Assistant Durham County District Attorney Mark McCullough said.

Johnson, who was third vice-chair of the Durham County Democratic Party and vice-chair for the Young Democrats, was charged with two counts of aiding and abetting. Prosecutors said she knew her husband planned the crime and watched as they were committed.

She has resigned her positions with the Democratic Party, said state Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham.

"She seemed to be a very open, reasonable, responsible person, but certainly, the allegations that have been made are shocking to everybody who has known her," McKissick said. "We wish her the best going through this difficult and trying time."

Johnson also resigned her position as office manager for the Durham People's Alliance.

Craig and Johnson operate a business called Indigo Dawn Inc. that is described on a Web site as a spiritual growth service offering "past life reconstruction" and "communication with spirit guides." The site talks about Johnson's activism and describes Craig as a reverend and a "devout student of magick."

One neighbor who declined to give his name came to court Monday to support the couple and held up messages behind the courtroom's glass partition.

"(They're) innocent until proven guilty," the man said.

Craig and Johnson were ordered to have no contact with their victims.

Prosecutors said they anticipate more charges will be filed against the couple.

129 Comments

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  • bzang Jul 7, 8:28 p.m.

    Hmmm. Religion did this, the *blank* party did that. Have people forgotten that this is a democratic republic? We the people vote for the person who will represent us for a time period, also voted on...by us.

    Rome itself was a republic, and a dictatorship. Hmmmm.

    Democracy=satan? Well, I don't know about that. Satan (at least the big hairy, horned, goat footed, scary guy called satan, really a symbol of another religion assimilated by Rome) is a christian god. The christians created satan.

    Christians=satan?

    There are many democrats who are christians, but also many republicans.

    Republicans=satan?

    Since the Hebrew word for satan only means adversary, and it was only a bloated, collective, christian imagination that came up with Satan, then I guess your only adversary, all of you, are yourselves. I really don't think satan, democrats, christians,or republicans, (am I being redundant?) had anything to do with any of this though.

  • Tired Of Excuses Jul 4, 9:14 a.m.

    The perp kept the male victim in a cage? I guess if you can't run with the big dawgs you need to stay on the porch!

  • Tired Of Excuses Jul 4, 9:13 a.m.

    Let me get this straight, the victims went to their house, not having met this couple before? If that's the case they certainly didn't use good judgement.
    What happens between adults is no one's business but those involved.

  • NWD Jul 1, 8:48 p.m.

    Heh, heh...don't sweat it Mango. Got up on my high horse, too. ;)

    We're good.
    NWD

  • mentalgoose Jul 1, 4:37 p.m.

    Democrats support a woman's right to choose whether or not to reproduce. If YOU don't want an abortion, sweetsea, DON'T HAVE ONE!

  • sweetsea Jul 1, 4:09 p.m.

    Mango's comments about roasting babies at his democrat picnics was a sick attempt at a joke. I fail to see the humor. But democrats do favor partial birth abortions and think nothing of killing a human fetus but will cry over a dead whale fetus. What moronic contradictions not to speak of the moral implioations of it. There are so many people on this blog that are defensive of satanism it is sickening. This country is in trouble due to plain moral depravity and ignorance.

  • Mango Jul 1, 1:45 p.m.

    My deepest apologies, NWD, I realized after I had posted that you were being ironic... but you know what? Given the people that posted *after* you? Well, I think the sarcasm aimed at you could easily be adjusted ever so slightly their way and serve its purpose well. They won't get it -- it will go right over their heads. But making fun of other people without their ever noticing is one of the true joys of being a liberal member of the intellectual elite and this particular blog is such a darn fertile stomping ground for prey.. well, I just can't help it.

  • Mango Jul 1, 1:41 p.m.

    Say, Admiral -- what is that oh-so patriotic symbol there by your name? Could it be a pair of American flag undershorts.

    Heavens. I am deeply offended. And morally righteous.

    A little disgusted, too. I do hope you launder them regularly.

  • greentara Jul 1, 1:11 p.m.

    Gosh, you would of thought a shared interest in satanism would have made him treat them nicer! ha ha ha ha ha ! go figure.. my new satanist friends beat me and raped me... did they think they had signed on for milk and cookies?

  • rogerkneebend Jul 1, 12:59 p.m.

    Admiral, calm down. I am not a liberal. You and I are actually in agreement! I was kidding with that statement before because "freedom of speech" has too often been the excuse of "non-conservatives". Nowadays it seems to cover everything BUT speech.

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